Overtraining: Causes, Signs, and Solutions

Overtraining in bodybuilding – it’s like ball lightning – everyone knows that it exists, but no one or almost no one really came across with it.

What is overtraining

Overtraining is a state of chronic fatigue from power loads. It occurs when training volumes exceed the body’s ability to recover. In other words, overtraining occurs if you exercise too much and too often, and the body does not have time to recover.

In sports medicine, this concept refers to loads that exceed the adaptive capabilities of the body, often causing disruption of organs and systems. Overtraining arises in stages and falling into this state is instantly impossible. Any high-intensity and / or high-volume training leads to a regular decrease in working capacity, i.e. fatigue.

It is customary to highlight muscle and psychological overtraining, as well as overtraining of the central nervous system (CNS). All these types of overtraining attack the athlete in conjunction.


It all starts with overtraining of the muscles: due to the high frequency of loads, the muscles cannot heal microtraumas, they are deficient in nutrients and amino acids. After that, excessive loads hit the central nervous system: the speed of nerve impulses decreases, coordination, attention, endurance worsen. Together, this causes psychological fatigue from training: the desire to train disappears, the general state of health and mood become worse.

Overtraining symptoms

Among the main signs of overtraining of an athlete are:

  • stopping the progress of the working weights, and then their regression. Weights fall instead of growing;
  • stopping muscle growth. The body does not have enough resources to grow new muscles. He is not able to support the already gained mass – your own weight falls or freezes in place;
  • decrease in power indicators and endurance. Training is getting harder, you are literally falling off your feet;
  • poor health, poor appetite, sleep, irritability, often – headaches, palpitations, difficulty sleeping – all these are signs of an athlete’s overtraining.

How not to miss it

overtraining symptoms

Prolonged, insufficient recovery leads to exhausting fatigue, which is accompanied by a lack of growth or a decrease in athletic performance and a deterioration in the adaptability of CVS to stress.

If you ignore this stage, then overwork is the next step, which is the accumulation of training and extra-workout overloads.

It is characterized by a continued decline in sports results, apathy, lethargy, drowsiness during the day, decreased immunity, unwillingness to exercise, irritability, insomnia, inadequate response of the CCC to physical activity, sinus arrhythmia, extrasystole.

If this stage is ignored, then here it is – overtraining, which develops as a result of summing up the recurring overwork.

Overtraining is characterized by the presence of sharp functional changes in the central nervous system, organic changes in the heart, circulatory disorders, the development of neurasthenia of various forms. According to sports doctors, overtraining is extremely rare and, in addition to symptoms, is diagnosed in the laboratory.

Real-life example

Now tell me, as an ordinary amateur, for example, can a student or office worker training 3-4 times a week (for comparison, the owners of adult classes in almost any sports train from 2 to 4 hours a day, 5-6 times a week and do not buzz about overtraining) miss insomnia, arrhythmia and all that shit that happens to him?

Only a professional athlete who is preparing to compatition can do this, well, or just crazy. And the phase of the moon, magnetic storms, solar eclipses and laziness do not need to be taken as overtraining, just like a sore throat as an angina.

Additionally, see how kids should be trained as not to harm their development.

What is more, find out whether it is ok to train to failure.